Tree Maker

Tree Maker

The Tree Maker is a feature of IRender nXt which allows you to create definitions for Fractal Trees, save them in a library as .ArPlant files and then use them as plants in IRender nXt.

It uses the nXt Tree Editor to create custom trees, stores a 2D representation of the tree in SketchUp and renders it as a full, fractal, 3D Tree.


Mapping to IRender nXt Plant

After creating an ArPlant in the Tree Editor and saving it, you can map it to an IRender plant.

  1. Create and Place an IRender Plant from the AR3 library.
  2. Right click on the Plant, and select the Plant Editor
  3. Use the Browse button to select a .ArPlant file from the disk.
  4. Set the age if desired.

When you render the new plant should be used for the rendering.

Changes effective with Build 330

September 2013

Bug Fixes

  • Certain trees may not scale properly when using the "Randomize" feature.

Changes & Features

  • The UI for Complex plant type has been reworked to make it more understandable. I'm still working in this area so I haven't yet sent the changes out to be translated for non-english users. Some english may be present in the foreign languages versions, and some labels may not make a lot of sense in these versions.
  • The default Complex plant type looks more like a tree. Much easier to work with.
  • The render engine for the Tree Editor has been switched to the Hybrid Engine for performance reasons.
  • The OpenGL display should be more responsive.
  • Added a persistent Units setting. You can now choose between Imperial and Metric. Overall plant dimensions are given in feet or meters. Leaf and flower dimensions are given in inches or millimeters.
  • Display and controls can now be sized independently.

See: Tree Editor Changes

Tree Editor usage

Plant Type

Set the type from the File/New menu at the top.

There are four tree types - Standard, Conifer, Broad Crown, Palm and Complex
(Do not use Groundcover with RpTreeMaker).


Each has different setting on the tabs of the tree editor.

Play with the various settings to see what they do.

Trunk Settings


Change the Parameters and see the results at the left.

Foliage and Flowers


You can click on the leaf image to select a different image.

You can also add an image to be used as flowers or fruit

Leaf and Flower Images

You can select new leaves, trunk, etc. by clicking on the image.

You can also add your own leaves and bark to the Plant Image folder and use them for your custom trees.



Click 'Start' on the RayTrace drop down menu to see a sample rendering of the tree with foliage.

Use the mouse and scroll-wheel to on the image to set a new view before starting rendering if desired.

Plant Editor - Ray Trace.jpg

Rendering tips

RpTreeMaker tree placed as an image in SketchUp and rendered with IRender. Note the quality of the fractal rendering and the subtlety of the shadows.

For IRender nXt users, the RpTreeMaker tree will automatically re-render as a full, fractal, 3D tree.

IRender nXt users should make their tree images at the lowest resolution to save time and keep the SketchUp model fast and small. After the tree is re-rendered the original image resolution will not effect the final image.

The 2D Trees will work properly with SketchUp, including shadows, and most other rendering packages. Users of rendering some other products have discovered that they need to explode the tree component, explode the image entity into a face, and remake to tree component in order to get the tree to render properly.


There is a Settings menu which lets you set:

  • Background mode while rendering (this had nothing to do with the final image, but the HDRi setting gives you some sense of how the HDRi illumination works - If turn it on you will see that the tree is illuminated in a forest with the sun shining from behind on the left)
  • default Illumination of the image. -(Smaller numbers make the image brighter)
  • HDRi sky rotation for illumination. (55 degrees leaves the tree half in light and half in shadow)

Display Quality

Note: If your alpha transparent images do not display well in SketchUp, you can adjust the quality (vs speed) of Alpha Image display.

Set it to 'nicer' for the best tree display.


  • The Tree Editor allows you to choose from four types of trees (more coming soon.)
  • .ArPlant files can be saved and loaded in the editor.
  • .ArPlant files can be loaded into SketchUp for rendering.

Some Limitations on Trees (still numerous)

  • Shrubs may be difficult to do in the current interface.
  • We don’t have templates for things like Herbaceous Plants yet.
  • You can’t change anything about the trees at the moment.

See Also